These are among the key findings of a national survey of dating and relationships in the digital era, the first dedicated study of this subject by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project since 2005.
He told the Guardian: 'Christmas tends to be a period of review and revision, partly because it gives you the chance to observe existing models of relationship – the ones that you have, the ones you want to avoid and the ones you want to emulate.'It is also the winter pause when you review what has been missing in your life and what you want in it, and a period of great loneliness for people who don't fit into the government-approved vision of family.
According to You Gov, one in five relationships in the UK now begins online, and meeting via the internet is the third most popular way to find a date behind 'through friends' or making acquaintance at a pub or bar.
Compared with eight years ago, online daters in 2013 are more likely to actually go out on dates with the people they meet on these sites.
Some 66% of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through an online dating site or app, up from 43% of online daters who had done so when we first asked this question in 2005.
Yet even some online daters view the process itself and the individuals they encounter on these sites somewhat negatively.
Around one in ten online daters (13%) agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate,” and 29% agree that online dating “keeps people from settling down because they always have options for people to date.” Familiarity with online dating through usage by friends or family members has increased dramatically since our last survey of online dating in 2005.Moving beyond dates, one quarter of online daters (23%) say that they themselves have entered into a marriage or long-term relationship with someone they met through a dating site or app.That is statistically similar to the 17% of online daters who said that this had happened to them when we first asked this question in 2005.Women are much more likely than men to have experienced uncomfortable contact via online dating sites or apps: some 42% of female online daters have experienced this type of contact at one point or another, compared with 17% of men.Paid dating sites, and sites for people who are seeking partners with specific characteristics are popular with relatively large numbers of online daters: Organized outings are much less common, as just 4% of online daters have attended a group outing or other physical event organized by an online dating site.Some 42% of Americans know someone who has used online dating, up from 31% in 2005.